Friday, April 19, 2024

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Out $100 000 plus

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A CONTRACTOR who worked  on the housing project at Constant, St George, wants to know who is responsible for paying  him the rest of his money.

Andrew Springer, of Associated Designs & Construction Management Company, says he is still to receive his final payment of over $100 000 for the five houses he built.

He said that he and other contractors, including his cousin David Springer, were hired by Clico Property Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Clico insurance company that collapsed in 2010, to build the houses.

The joint private/public sector project was between Clico and the National Housing Corporation (NHC), with Clico funding it to the tune of $7 333 300. It consisted of about 70 houses.

The last correspondence Springer received was in 2011, when he was given a letter by then financial controller at Clico, Dorkan Greaves, informing that his company was being “re-engaged” to complete the houses. It also outlined the cost of the project and payment to his company.

But Springer said he had not received a cent and furthermore other people were hired to complete the houses.

“When I left the job my houses were 90 per cent complete. All that was left was the trowel plastering, light fittings and other minor work,” he said.

However, according to him, several subsequent telephone calls to Greaves enquiring about the payment never provided him with any answers.

“The last time I tried contacting her I was told that she was no longer in Barbados.”

Springer added that he had spoken to senior officials at the National Housing Corporation.

“They told me when the houses finish, the receivers of Clico will have to pay us. Itried to locate the receivers but I never get through to any of them.

“I also spoke to someone at Clico who told me that they could not find thewritten contract.”

Springer said he had been waiting to receive his final payment for seven years.

He said he was also told that all the houses had been sold.

Mixers stolen

“I lost so much on this project. Two mixers and numerous tiles and fittings were stolen because there was no watchman here at night. I do not know where to turn,” the contractor said.

When contacted, Patrick Toppin, of Deloitte Consulting Ltd – the judicial manager of

Clico – said he had no knowledge of the St George project.

Back in 2010 there was much debate surrounding the Constant housing project and whether or not there was a contract in place between NHC and Clico to build the houses.

At that time Opposition Leader Mia Mottley accused the Minister of Housing Michael Lasley of misleading Parliament “by seeking to convey the impression that there was a contract in place with Clico at Constant, St George”.

Lashley responded by stating that a contract was in place and that it was signed by former chairman of the board, Marilyn Rice-Bowen. He further explained that four contractors had been employed to build the houses and they had “performed to an acceptable standard and had conformed to Barbados’ building standards”.

Up to press time there was no response from NHC general manager Lanette Napoleon-Young to our queries regarding the project.

mariabradshaw@nationnews.com

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